... is that you can't edit them.
I don't mean it quite the way it sounds, but it's something I've noticed ever
since GIMP 2.2 that has repeatedly been an annoyance to my individual workflow.
And minor annoyances are worse over time than major ones.
For example: When you're using the Paintbrush or Pencil tool (with a standard
brush) you have a button to select a brush from the Brushes dialog, and you
have a button nearby to Edit that brush. However, the Brush Editor won't let
you actually DO anything as long as you're using a default brush, because as a
default resource that brush is read only.
The same thing applies with Brush Dynamics. By moving them out of the tool
context into their own 'resource' type, 2.8 loses the ability to make arbitrary
edits on an impromptu basis. I can't, say, adjust the pressure curve on the
default Pressure-Opacity setting because, as a default resource, you can't edit
it. At all.
Of course, there's an easy workaround to the current behavior: Take a default
resource and Duplicate it. Then you can fine-tune its settings however you
want. I did this back in GIMP 2.4 - I created two standard brushes (with
differing hardness values) solely so I could set up keyboard shortcuts to
increase/decrease brush size on the fly. (During 2.6 I retweaked my keyboard
shortcuts to affect the brush scalar, for the same end result; size is a moot
point in 2.8 with brush size being part of the tool context, but it can still
occur with other brush settings, like hardness).
But the issue definitely comes up with editing Brush Dynamics now that they
have been made an official resource type. It's ... roughly like if you opened
an image from a read-only XCF file and GIMP insists you Duplicate the image
before allowing you to make any edits to the image whatsoever. (Okay, so
that's an exaggeration.) I know, the change was deliberate, but from the user
view it's still a loss of convenience and functionality -- a regression. If I
want to adjust the pressure curve on a Dynamic, I first have to ensure that I'm
working on an editable copy of it and not one of the defaults.
So I'm going to toss out some ideas to discuss:
1 - If a default resource is selected, the matching Editor dialog (Brushes
editor, Dynamics editor, etc.) should have a "Duplicate" button on its own
dialog. This would save the extra click of having to bring up a different
dialog and hit the button from there.
2 - Better yet, instead of locking down all the Editor's controls, have GIMP
give you a prompt asking if you want to Duplicate the resource first (or even
do that automatically) when you try to tweak its settings. This would save one
more click over idea #1 - you couldn't make it any easier than that.
3 - Or can you? Maybe the default resources to be edited under the condition
that those changes can't be saved/overwritten back to the original (read only)
file. (Much like being able to make edits to a read-only XCF file; sure you
can edit, you just can't overwrite the original file with those changes.) Also
provide a "Revert" button which would refresh the resource back to its original
state (like the "Reset" buttons on any number of adjustment tools).
4 - Or, if all else fails, have the GIMP distribution include one of each type
resource (well, at least one Brush and one Dynamic) which are installed in the
respective user resources folder (rather than the default resources folder,
which is marked read-only). This keeps all the default set of resources, but
adds one of each that the user may adjust at their whim.
Thoughts on the matter?
Numbers may not lie, but neither do they tell the whole truth.
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